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Showing posts from December, 2008

You Spin Me Round: An Advance Look at Season Five of "Lost"

"What goes around comes around." Truer words were never spoken when looking at the concept of karma. Do our past actions affect our future? Does good bring good and ill bring ill? How important are fate and free will in determining the paths of our lives? Are our lives, like a record, spinning around and around, repeating the same patterns again and again? It's these metaphysical questions (and a host of others) that have been explored over the course of the last four seasons of ABC's Lost . I had the chance yesterday to watch the brilliant and provocative first two episodes of Season Five of Lost ("Because You Left" and "The Lie"), which kicks off on January 21st, and naturally fell under the series' deft spell. While I'm prohibited by the network from revealing major plot points about the first two installments of Lost , I can offer some rather oblique clues about what to expect and discuss some general points from these early Season F

Channel Surfing: "Brothers & Sisters" Thins Out Cast, Bill Lawrence Talks "Scrubs" Future, Kingston Scrubs in for "ER," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Only a few major headlines this morning, though I am still literally shaking after watching the first two episodes of Season Five of Lost yesterday afternoon. (Nearly 24 hours later and I still can't get it out of my head, but that's hardly surprising.) The Walker clan is getting thinned out a little bit. According to Michael Ausiello, Brothers & Sisters ' Balthazar Getty was told last week that his option as a full-time series regular was not being picked up for next season. However, Getty is said to be in talks with producers to remain on the series, perhaps in a recurring role. Decision to reduce Getty's role is due to both budgetary and storyline reasons, though some insiders have pointed to Getty's "difficult" behavior of late. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Bill Lawrence--the creator of Scrubs , which moves from NBC to ABC on January 6th--talks to the New York Times about wr

Channel Surfing: Lawsuits Aplenty with "Gilmore Girls" and "Two and a Half Men," Cassidy No Longer "Privileged," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. I'm still recovering from the, er, excesses of the past holiday week and still have a stack of screeners to get through before the New Year. Paging GOB Bluth: Will Arnett is ready to reunite with his Arrested Development co-stars for the big screen debut of the Bluth clan as Ron Howard and Mitch Hurwitz rally the troops. "It’ll be fun to get back together with everybody and work on it,” says Arnett. “It’s been so long now, we almost have to do it. It’s like we have to finish the joke.” Arnett meanwhile offers his trademark comedic spin on the Arrested film in an amusing jab at the state of the economy. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Hollywood Insider ) Dexter 's Lauren Velez will guest star in a multiple-episode story arc on ABC's Ugly Betty this season; she'll play Elena, a nurse who becomes entangled in the lives of the Suarez clan. POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING: Details are sketchy but there is word that she is

Top TV Picks of 2008

As it's nearly the end of the calendar year (only a few more days to go, in fact), I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at some of the shows that that have entertained and inspired me over the past year. It's been a crazy year, between the WGA strike affecting everything from truncated freshman seasons for Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money , and Chuck , delayed seasons for FX's Damages and HBO's Big Love (and a host of others), and a generally frantic development season that only saw two relative hits emerge this fall. So, what were the favorite series in the Televisionary household? Which left me wanting more... and which ones made me eager to change the channel? Find out after the jump. Best Reality Series: Top Chef The Amazing Race Flipping Out Top Chef remains my number one reality obsession. Bravo and Magical Elves have done themselves proud with this sleek, slick production that makes the art of cooking into a nail-biting competition in wh

Channel Surfing: Third Season of "Gavin & Stacey" On Tap, "Doctor Who," SAG Delays Strike Authorization Vote, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. This being a scant two days before Christmas, there aren't many television-related headlines to discuss but rest assured there are still quite a few. Oh, what's occurrin'? The big news is, of course, that Ruth Jones and James Corden have announced-- from Barry Island , no less--that they will write a third season of their hit comedy Gavin & Stacey . The third season, which had been commissioned by the BBC earlier this year, had been in doubt when Jones and Corden said that their schedules were a bit too full at the moment to write the next season of the romantic comedy, which airs in the States on BBC America. While pesky details like actor availability still have to be worked out, it's fantastic news that we'll get to see more of Nessa and the gang from Barry and Essex before long. The Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special, meanwhile, will air tomorrow night on BBC1. ( BBC News ) Doctor Who executive produ

Talk Back: "Skins" Season Finale

I don't know about you but I am going to miss the cast of Skins . You've already read my advance review for the second season finale of Skins , which sees the departure of the entire cast, save Tony's little sister Effy and her friend Pandora , as Season Three will feature new characters, rather than our faves as they embark on new adventures. (And if you haven't read my review, do so now.) Sniffle, sniffle. But I am curious what you thought of last night's heartbreaking season finale of Skins . Did you get choked up when Tony finally told Sid that he loved him best and sobbed as the revolving door came back around empty? Did you cheer when Anwar accepted Maxxie's invitation to go to London and turned his back on manipulative and sociopathic opportunist Sketch? Did you realize just how much you loved Jal when she gave a gut-wrenching speech at Chris' funeral? And cheer when those fireworks went off? Talk back here. Skins launches its third season in th

Channel Surfing: Echo Forgets in "Dollhouse" Clip, "Gavin & Stacey" Cast Talk, "Prison Break", and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. This being the week of Christmas, look for the television programming news to be light but we do have a few headlines to discuss. I spent the weekend catching up on some screener-viewing (episode 203 of Damages , for example) and preparing for the hols this week. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has a sneak peak clip of Joss Whedon's latest drama, Dollhouse , which launches Friday, February 13th on FOX. In the two-minute clip, Echo (Eliza Dushku) has her imprinted memories wiped by Fran Kranz's Topher, who then engages in a philosophical discussion about the nature of his work with Echo's handler Boyd (Harry Lennix). Does it make you rethink your position on the series? Are you more or less excited to see it now? ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Guardian has a brand-new interview with the oh-so-talented cast of British import comedy Gavin & Stacey , including James Corden and Ruth Jones

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for Dec. 19-21

Televisionary is proud to be a member of the TV Blog Coalition. At the end of each week, we'll feature a roundup of content from our sister sites for your delectation. This week, I once again took a look into the future, offering advance reviews of Season Three of HBO's Big Love , the Skins second season season finale on BBC America , and a controversial advance review of Chuck 's "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" (as well as a post-air discussion of the episode itself ). All this as well as discussions on the second season premiere of HBO's Flight of the Conchords , the latest episodes of Pushing Daisies and Top Chef , news about Life on Mars sequel Ashes to Ashes finally coming to the States , Battlestar Galactica webisodes , Jack Black guest-starring on The Office , and the fantastic lack of Aaron Rose on Gossip Girl in the New Year. Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing t

True Love and False Prophets: An Advance Review of Season Three of HBO's "Big Love"

“The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.” - Aldous Huxley Truer words were never spoken, especially in the case of HBO's drama series Big Love , which returns next month for an explosive third season. When we last saw the cast of the pay cabler's provocative series, Bill (Bill Paxton) was considering taking a fourth wife even as he was embattled from multiple sides in a war with the Grants and the Greens. Meanwhile, Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton) had been arrested after attempting to return to the compound following his attempted assassination at the hands of Hollis Green's followers. He had been set up by his power-hungry son Alby (Matt Ross), who like his father before him, had usurped control of Juniper Creek and laid claim to being the polygamist sect's new prophet. Roughly set six months after the action of the second season finale (which aired in 2007), Season Three o

Channel Surfing: Chenoweth Gets "Mad" for David E. Kelley, HBO Orders Two Comedy Series, "Office" Stars Moonlight on Pilot Scripts, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. I spent last night watching the first three brilliant episodes of HBO's Big Love , kicking off next month, and was up all night thinking about the series. At least the weekend's finally here, right? Pushing Daisies ' Kristin Chenoweth has been cast as the female lead in David E. Kelley's new NBC legal drama, Legally Mad , from Warner Bros. TV. Chenoweth will play Skippy Pylon, a brilliant lawyer who is often mistaken for being a teenager who goes to work at her father's firm; Skippy is "relentlessly cheerful" but suffers occasional bouts of psychosis. "I could only picture Kristin playing this role," said Kelley. "I've wanted to work with her for a long time and can't wait to reveal her as someone who's completely mad." It's a perfect part for Cheno (I'll be reading the pilot script this weekend) and I'm happy to see her land on her feet after the cancellation

Stockholm Syndrome: Waking, Baking, and (Heart) Aching on "Pushing Daisies"

Oh, hell no. Not since the days of Twin Peaks have the Norwegians been so front and center and so quick to rush to judgment. I'm speaking of course of last night's episode of Pushing Daisies ("The Norwegians") which featured Papen County's other team of crack sleuths, overseen by Emerson Cod's nemesis Magnus Olsdatter (Orlando Jones), who in investigating the mysterious disappearance of one Dwight Dixon (Stephen Root), one-time paramour to Aunt Vivian, stumble onto a secret that could finally expose Ned and Chuck. That is, if it hadn't been for the help of Itty Bitty herself. Written by Scott Nimerfro (who previously scripted Season One's "Smell of Success"), last night's episode was another fantastic addition to the Daisies oeuvre, further complicating an already deliciously taut plot involving Chuck's alive again (and on the run) father, Charles Charles, a cover-up (Emerson and Chuck's disposal of Dwight's corpse), an

Band Meeting: HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" Takes Off with a Wing and a Prayer (and a Song from Murray)

With just the opening words of the second season premiere of HBO's Flight of the Conchords , I felt as though I had refound my lost Linus blanket, all comforting and cozy and warm. Say it with me now: "Band meeting." If you haven't already watched the Season Two premiere of Flight of the Conchords (either at FunnyOrDie.com or right here at Televisionary ), I suggest you do so immediately as it's only available online through the weekend. (The actual linear television premiere of Flight of the Conchords will air on HBO on January 18th.) Just a few quick thoughts about the premiere as my full thoughts on this and the first few episodes of Conchords will come in a full advance review at a later date. I've missed Bret and Jemaine (not to mention Murray and Mel). The season premiere ("A Good Opportunity") kicks off just where we left off at the end of Season One: with Murray achieving fame and success with new band Crazy Dogs (complete with three g

"Nobody Wins with a Deviled Egg": Judgments Aplenty on "Top Chef"

You didn't really think the Top Chef judges were going to send anyone home in a Christmas episode, now did you? I knew as soon as I saw all of the cheftestants pitching in to help Hosea and Radikha out on last night's episode of Top Chef ("12 Days of Christmas") that there would be no elimination this week, even as Tom and the judges were pretty disappointed with their dishes this week. Yes, the challenge was a tough one; catering for a crowd of 300 people at a charity cocktail event is stressful, especially as they only had three hours to prepare and two of them had to redo the main components of their dish from scratch after someone left the refrigerator door ajar. So it was a bit of a cop-out ending, but I knew for certain as soon as Tom said he wanted to speak to all of the chefs that no one was packing their knives and going home. Even the tough-to-please judges have a soft spot for teamwork, especially when it does coincide with a pre-holiday airing on Bravo

Channel Surfing: Aaron Bids Bye-Bye on "Gossip Girl," Cavanagh Returns to "Scrubs," HBO Gets "Hung," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Those of us who loathed John Patrick Amedori's Aaron Rose on the CW's Gossip Girl have reason to celebrate today. The CW has confirmed that the December 8th episode that saw Serena heading off to Buenos Aires with Aaron will be the character's last appearance on the series. Whew. So what went wrong? "It was the facial hair," says Show Tracker's Enid Portuguez. I have to agree but I'd also add greasy hair and personality bypass. ( Los Angeles Times ) Tom Cavanagh has confirmed that he will return to ABC's Scrubs this season as Dan, the screw-up brother of J.D. (Zach Braff), in an episode filmed in September that also sees the return of previous guest stars Amy Smart and Nicole Sullivan. Scrubs launches its final season on January 6th on ABC. ( TV Guide ) Matt Lanter ( Heroes ) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on the CW's 90210 , where he will play bad boy Liam, a potential love